Common Nursing & Certification Acronyms

Click the headers below to learn more about a variety of common acronyms related to the nursing industry and certification. See something missing? Let us know about an acronym you would like listed at

Acronyms: A-G

AACN: American Association of Colleges of Nursing —OR— American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

AAFP: American Academy of Family Practice

AAMN: American Assembly for Men in Nursing

AAN: American Academy of Nursing

AANP: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

AAP: American Academy of Pediatrics

ABNS: American Board of Nursing Specialties

ABSNC: Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification

AC: Acute Care

ACAPN: Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses

ACEN: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

ACN: Association of Camp Nurses

ACNN: Association of Child Neurology Nurses

ACNP: American College of Nurse Practitioners

AE-C: Certified Asthma Educator

AFPNP: Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

AFPRN: Association of Family Practice Residency Nurses

AMP: Applied Measurement Professionals

ANA: American Nurses Association

ANCC: American Nurses Credentialing Center

APN: Advanced Practice Nurse (sometimes referred to as APRN)

APRN: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (sometimes referred to as APN)

APSNA: American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

AONE: American Organization of Nurse Executives

APNA: American Psychiatric Nurses Association

APON: Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses

BCEN: Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing

BSN: Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing

C-NPT: Certified Pediatric Neonatal Transport

CCNA: Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists

CCNE: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CCRN: Certification for Adult, Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care Nurses

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CE: Continuing Education

CEU: Continuing Education Units

CEN: Certified Emergency Nurse

CFNP: Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

CIC: Board Certified in Infection Control

CME: Continuing Medical Education

CMSRN: Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse

CNE: Continuing Nursing Education

CNNP: Certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

CNS: Clinical Nurse Specialist

CPEN®: Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse

CPN®: Certified Pediatric Nurse

CPHON: Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse

CPON: Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse

CPNP®: Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

CSN: Certified School Nurse

DNP: Doctorate of Nursing Practice

DNS: Doctor of Nursing Science (also seen as DSN, DNSc, or DScN)

ENA: Emergency Nurses Association

FAAN: Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

FAANP: Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

FACHE: Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives

FCCM: Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine

FNE: Forensic Nurse Examiner

Acronyms: H-M

IAFN: International Association of Forensic Nurses

IBCLC: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

ICE: Institute for Credentialing Excellence

IOM:: Institute of Medicine

IPN: Institute of Pediatric Nursing

IW: Item Writer/Writing

JCAHO: Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

LPN: Licensed Practical Nurse (sometimes referred to as a Licensed Vocational Nurse)

LVN: Licensed Vocational Nurse (sometimes referred to as a Licensed Practical Nurse)

MSN: Master of Science in Nursing

Acronyms: N-Z

NACHRI: National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions

NAPNAP: National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

NASN: National Association of School Nurses

NASND: National Association of School Nurses for the Deaf

NASSNC: National Association of State School Nurse Consultants

NBCSN: National Board for Certification of School Nurses

NCBPNP/N: National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses, the former name of Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

NCLEX-PN: National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses

NCLEX-RN: National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses

NCCA: National Council for Certifying Agencies

NCSBN: National Council of State Boards of Nursing

NCQA: National Commission for Quality Assurance

NCRC: National Credentialing Research Coalition

NLN: National League for Nursing

NONPF: National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties

NPNP: PNCB's No Pass, No Pay Program for CPN Certification

PA: Physician's Assistant

PALS: Pediatric Advanced Life Support

PC: Primary Care

PHCNS-BC: Public/Community Health Clinical Nurse Specialist — Board Certified

PCNS-BC: Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatrics — Board Certified

PENS: Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society

PharmD: Doctor of Pharmacy

PMHS®: Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist

PN: Practical Nurse

PNP-BC: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner — Board Certified

RDS: Role Delineation Study/Survey to assess changes in role or tasks for a member of a profession. Also known as a job study analysis.

RN: Registered Nurse

RN-BC: Registered Nurse — Board Certified

SANE-A®: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner — Adult/Adolescent

SANE-P®: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner — Pediatric

SNP-BC: School Nurse Practitioner — Board Certified

SPN: Society of Pediatric Nurses

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